08/27/2010, 00.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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Netanyahu proposes direct peace talks every two weeks

The only way to solve problems in the Middle East. The Palestinians promise to boycott the meetings if Israel fails to renew the freeze on settlements in the West Bank. The European Union condemns Tel Aviv for sentencing pro human rights activist Abdullah Abu Rahmeh.

Tel Aviv (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, wants to lead the peace talks between Israel and Palestine, meeting Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in person every two weeks.

The proposal, drawn up by the premier and his men last night, will be submitted September 2, when peace talks begin in Washington. "In the Middle East, serious negotiations require direct discreet and consistent encounters, among the leaders on major issues”.

The Palestinians, however, have warned Tel Aviv that if a freeze on construction in Israeli settlements in the West Bank is not renewed, there will be no peace dialogue. The freeze, which began in November 2009 for a period of 10 months, has not been fully implemented by Israel, since the entry into force of the moratorium, the construction of at least 600 illegal houses began in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile the European Union has criticized Tel Aviv’s sentencing of Palestinian human rights activist Abdullah Abu Rahmeh to several years in prison. He was arrested in December for protesting peacefully against the construction of the wall around the West Bank.

The construction, begun in 2002, was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Israel has always maintained that the "security barrier" is to prevent suicide attacks from taking place.
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